Wednesday, February 1, 2017

IWSG and Perfection

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.
Click HERE to get to the link where you are able to visit various other blogs.

And...to Perfection.
Growing up as the younger sister to the popular neighborhood jock and older nerdy sister to the cute and adorable mellow-and-chilled chick, I added the unnecessary burden of pursuing perfection. Not in everything I did, but when it came to school, I had to have perfect grades, high standardized test scores, and excellence. This wasn't anything my mom asked of me. Truthfully, she only ever wanted me to be happy and would talk with me to keep me sane in those moments when I didn't quite outshine others intellectually.

Over the years, I've learned to curb this pursuit of perfection with a pursuit of happiness, which is one of the reasons I love to write. But perfection is a beast with deep and tangling tentacles, difficult to uproot, and I find myself struggling with my first drafts because of it. 

What about you? How do you deal with writing your first drafts? Do you go through painstaking edits as you write or do you chug the whole thing out then go back to clean things up through revisions?

17 comments:

  1. It's funny. I was the "perfect" older sister. My siblings looked up to me, certain I'd have all the answers. But in truth, I always struggled to be the role model everyone expected.

    It's true what they say: Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about.

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  2. I was the "perfect" sister too, and I feel sad how my sister and my cousin struggled in school when they were compared to me by teachers. I wasn't trying to be perfect nor was I.

    I definitely have to painstakingly edit my first draft multiple times. I'm not a perfect writer, that's for sure.

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  3. I hear you, Lady. I too struggled for years with perfection until I finally realised no one is perfect and that includes me. Now I write the best that I can when I'm writing an article for my blogs or a chapter for my book and I've stopped trying to make it perfect because you'll always see something that you want to change.
    All the best.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat

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  4. Yup. I'm with you. Actually, I find that my first draft doesn't have to be perfect, but the first couple chapters do, or I lose motivation. So I do edit the first couple chapters while drafting. If they're solid, every time I read over them, I'm motivated anew to keep going.

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  5. I confess - I'm a perfectionist. And it's hard to turn that off. Every word has to be right the first time.

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  6. I was the same way--had to have perfect grades or I cried. I think I mellowed a lot in college. I'm still something of a perfectionist now but tbh I wish I was a bit more on the perfectionist side. I think my work ethic would be higher. 😊 Great post!

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  7. How do I deal with writing first drafts? (If I could I'd upload an gif of me slamming my face against my desk.) I am so hard on myself during first drafts that I actually stunted my creativity to write Motley's 2nd book. I finally spit out a few chapters a couple weeks ago, but than I had to put it aside when my editor sent my 1st round of edits for my YA novel releasing late spring. Perfectionism can really hurt us. I loved this post!

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  8. In my family I was considered somewhat of the dud child. As the oldest that was no fun at all. Anyway thankfully I had some people outside who saw my potential and online I have a regular supply of support I'm so grateful for. Which is why I'm so ready to offer encouragement to others. It makes a difference. Always.

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  9. Yeah, I was kind of a perfectionist, too. I'm happy to say I've gotten over the worst of that...but I want my books to be perfect before they go out.

    As for the first draft...well, I embraced the "lousy first draft" attitude...if you want to see the result, I'm talking about it in my IWSG post this month :p A bit of perfectionism might not go amiss, at least as far as getting the structure right the first time (not every word).

    Those of you who want every word perfect before you go on might need to chant, "The perfect is the enemy of the good" three times every morning before breakfast.

    —Rebecca
    My IWSG Post

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  10. I gave myself permission for the first draft to suck. It's the manure in which the good stuff will grow. I also gave myself permission not to get it right the first time. If it takes ten passes to make it feel right, so be it. It's like channeling the perfectionism into doable channels.

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  11. Oh yes, I know exactly how you feel! I struggle with it all the time. On one level, I know I'm not going to be perfect, but on another, I have to be it or I won't be anything at all. We need to be easier on ourselves. :)

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  12. I dropped the mantle of perfection a while back, as I have too many other impediments weighing me down (LOL). I write the messy first draft, let my writing group edit, and send the draft out to my copyeditor.

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  13. I always try to keep it fun. If I don't enjoy doing it when I'm doing it, there's no point:)

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  14. First drafts are supposed to be terrible – if yours are a mess, then they're absolutely perfect!

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  15. I'm the opposite. I'm the middle child who was happy with C's if I didn't like the class. lol My mom didn't appreciate it, but I was super laid back.

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